SAHIBABAD (Uttar Pradesh) : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated the 17-km priority section of the country’s first Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor and took a ride in a ‘Namo Bharat’ train running on the stretch.
Modi showed the green flag to the train connecting Sahibabad and Duhai Depot stations, marking the launch of the RRTS in India. Trains plying on this corridor can run at a speed of 180 kmph.
The prime minister inaugurated the priority section by unveiling a plaque at the Sahibabad station of the RRTS.
He also bought a smart card using UPI mode of payment to enter the concourse, thus becoming the first person to do so, a senior official of the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) said.
Prime Minister Modi also saw an exhibition put up at the station.
After flagging off the first ‘Namo Bharat’ train, Modi boarded a train from Sahibabad to travel on the corridor. During his travel, he interacted with some school students and the crew of the train.
“Many students from different schools of Ghaziabad were present on the platform during the flag off and some other school students were present in the train which the prime minister boarded,” the NCRTC official said.
The priority section between Sahibabad and Duhai Depot has five stations — Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Guldhar, Duhai and Duhai Depot. The segment from Duhai to Duhai Depot is a spur from the main corridor.
Prime Minister Modi travelled on the priority section from Sahibabad to Guldhar and then returned to the Sahibabad station, from where he exited, the official said.
The Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor once fully completed will reduce travel time between Delhi and Meerut to a little less than an hour.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri were present at the inauguration ceremony at the Sahibabad station.
India’s first semi-high-speed regional rail service, trains of which are equipped with hi-tech features and a number of passenger amenities, will be opened for people from October 21.
The services will begin at 6 am and run till 11 pm, the NCRTC officials had earlier said.
The under-construction RRTS corridor, being built for the semi-high-speed regional rail service by the NCRTC, is a joint venture company of the Centre with the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
The NCRTC has been tasked to oversee the construction of India’s first RRTS, between Delhi and Meerut.
The entire 82.15 km Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS is targeted to be operational by June 2025.
The foundation stone for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor was laid by Prime Minister Modi on March 8, 2019.
In line with his vision to transform regional connectivity in the country through construction of new world-class transport infrastructure, the RRTS project is being developed, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had said in a statement on Wednesday.
The RRTS is a new rail-based, semi-high-speed, high-frequency commuter transit system with a design speed of 180 kmph.
The Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor is being developed at a cost of more than Rs 30,000 crore and will connect Delhi to Meerut with a travel time of less than an hour through urban centres of Ghaziabad, Muradnagar and Modinagar, the PMO had said.
Trains of the RRTS will be known as ‘Namo Bharat’, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had announced on the eve of its inauguration.
In April, the NCRTC had named RRTS trains as ‘RAPIDX’ and the service seeks to redefine travel in the region. (Agencies)